Hey guys, I hope it's okay for me to post this here (I know it's double posting, and I don't have any art to show per se, but I do have a preview of the next chapter, which should go up tomorrow or the next day.)
One week passes
Toa Sein's office, formerly Trux's office, formerly Sein's office, was all cleared out. Most of the Su-Matoran's belongings were packed up, only leaving behind whatever they didn't feel they'd need anymore. A caravan was gathering outside. Trux looked down from the top of the wall. The weather was a bit more forgiving today than it was on most days. It was a good time to leave. He stared back in his former office one more time. He hadn't done much in his time as "Turaga," but he enjoyed what opportunities he had to help people in whatever small ways he could. Still, the idea of just... leaving... as if it was so simple infuriated him.
Sein approached him from below.
"What's the matter?" he asked, noticing the look in Trux's eyes.
"It just seems so... silly now, doesn't it? All these years, we stayed here in our miserable little hovel, waiting for aid from the other Wahis, waiting for a day when we could leave but never mustering the gull to do it. How many years has The North been safe? And NOW we get to go there? Why?"
Sein wasn't sure how to answer, at first.
"You did what you could to provide for us here, but you let the Turaga boss you around, keep us down, keep us complacent. 'Oh, we'll find a solution someday. We'll find a new place for you to live.' Some of us have left the tribe over the years and integrated into the other ones. We should've all done that, but we were worried that we wouldn't be able to preserve our culture this way. What is there to be proud of in our 'culture'? Survival? Simply existing? We could've been in The North all this time, really LIVING, but we stayed here because we believed it was "cursed."
"Yes we did."
"And I'm no better. I went along with the Turagas' mind games too, because it just seemed... easy that way, to keep on doing the same thing like we have been for years."
"I don't know about that. If anything, our people seemed more well off when I returned then they were when I left. You've done more to improve their lives in a poultry five years than I have in the last five centuries."
"Don't... urggh. If it was so easy, if we always could've just packed up our things and left, then why didn't we? Was it really because of the curse?"
Sein turned and looked to the distance.
"No. I've never believed in a curse. I've always known it was made up."
"Then what for? Were you just too afraid to make the journey? Did you think we'd get hurt along the way? You didn't have such reservations when you left the island with Piras and the rest! Hardly any of our people even went on that trip! And for that matter, I don't even know if they would've been better off going or not!"
Sein remained remarkably calm through all of Trux's ranting. When he responded, it was with great clarity.
"We couldn't go to The North if we wanted to. Not until fairly recently, anyway."
"Wha... why not?"
"Because it was toxic. That's why I and any of our scouts who ventured a little too far that way in past years returned so sickly. They weren't being attacked by fallen Elder Spirits, they were poisoned by a land turned fowl."
Trux didn't feel like ranting any more. Sein continued.
"Years ago, when I was a Matoran, one of the first of our generation, I remember living in a great settlement in the north. It was the center of our civilization, for a time. But one day, a... bumbling Matoran fell into a cave a few miles away and accidentally unleashed an army of Mechanicles. We didn't know it was there. Our Toa of the time had long since buried it, and didn't think it would ever be found. But the dormant Mechanicles stored within woke up, swarmed out and destroyed our greatest power source, bringing us to ruin. The fallout was so great that the land was soaked with radiation. We had to move out overnight. Many Matoran were stricken with hideous changes and deformities, and didn't survive for long after that. We vowed never to return, and for most of my time as a Matoran, and a Toa, I dared not either."
"The... Mechanicles have always been here?"
"No, I don't think so. But they were here before I was. I didn't know what they were at the time. None like myself understood that they were planted here by the "others" years before. We were told they were "mask stealers," because they'd always attack our masks first to weaken us. The Turaga came up with an elaborate backstory for them and everything. All we knew was that we had to stay away from certain parts of the island... and for the most part, we still do, though many have completely forgotten why."
"And... your trips to The North you mentioned? You told us you were warding off evil spirits that appeared in your dreams and, in time, would come to attack us."
"No... I was investigating the land to see if it was safe. For so many years, I clung to the hope that if I just kept our people safe here, rode out the sandstorms for long enough, the land would eventually come alive again and we could finally make the journey there, to be the first to return home."
"And... your last 'battle'?"
"That time I returned from The North five hundred years ago? Yes, that time I was so ill, I had to be taken to the Living Fortress so Albus could heal me... He forbade me from ever going there again, saying that if I did, the poison would kill me. And so... I gave up."
"And now...? What's changed?"
"According to Ahkmou, the land is no longer poisonous. He passed through The North recently, and he even had a fleshling with him, and they both made it all the way to the northern beaches just fine. He says the land has been livable for a few centuries, now. He even met someone who says they've been living there for all that time, in our old settlement. Amazing, isn't it? All I had to do was wait a little longer. We could've gone there years ago."
"It is amazing," said Trux, looking down, "I just... hope that our people aren't disappointed by what they find there, and not that anyone tries to stop us. Sorry for being so mouthy, sir."
Sein put his hand on Trux' shoulder. Trux looked up, making eye contact.
"Don't be. You're just acting like a leader, demanding the truth. At this point, Trux, I don't even care if I find my destiny and become a proper Turaga. You've come closer to that than I ever have. When we settle into our new home... I want you to continue leading the villagers."
Trux was speechless. He was trembling, beneath his mask.
"And trust me... nobody in their right might would even think of stopping us now. For our future, this is a path the Su-Matoran must take."
Sein stared deeply into Trux' eyes with fierce intent as he spoke, almost as if he was speaking to somebody else.
So yeah... I know that's pretty big for a preview, but this is going to be a BIG chapter. There will be plenty more to talk about. So watcha' think after reading this bit?